Plans > Enhanced Lifetime Mortgage

Find out how much MORE equity you could unlock with an enhanced lifetime mortgage

Medical conditions or lifestyle factors could entitle you to a bigger tax-free cash release or better interest rates

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What is enhanced equity release?

It isn’t often that having a medical condition or perhaps a history of smoking can be of financial benefit to you. But when it comes to equity release, enhanced lifetime mortgages are the exception; being honest about your medical history could enable you to unlock more money from your home.

With an enhanced lifetime mortgage, you could benefit from higher tax-free cash releases or lower interest rates if you are living with certain health conditions or lifestyle factors.

As with a standard lifetime mortgage, enhanced plans are available to homeowners aged over 55. The money can be released as a tax-free cash lump sum or taken in smaller amounts over time. Typically there are no monthly repayments to make, as the loan plus interest is rolled up and repaid when you pass away or move into long-term care.

Equity Release Wise brings you access to the best enhanced lifetime mortgage quotes and deals from leading providers through our selected advisers. Find out how much you can borrow: check here or talk to one of our friendly consultants by calling 0808 178 3055 or request a call back.

Did you know?

You won’t need to undergo a medical if you apply for an enhanced lifetime mortgage. After taking you through a few straightforward health and lifestyle questions, our carefully selected advisers will be able to check if you qualify. If successful, your chosen lender may contact your doctor to confirm the details you have provided.

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How do enhanced lifetime mortgages work?

If you are considering equity release, enhanced lifetime mortgages are a popular way to unlock a greater percentage of the value of your home or enjoy other benefits.

This is because lenders go by the assumption that a borrower with one or more qualifying health conditions will generally live a shorter than average lifespan. As a result, you may not have the loan for as long as someone without the same conditions.

Depending on the severity of your condition/s, you may be able to:

  • Unlock a larger tax-free cash lump sum from your home
  • Enjoy a lower rate of interest than a standard lifetime mortgage
  • Be offered a bigger drawdown facility to access more money in the future

You have the right to remain in your home until you pass away or move into long-term care. At this point your home will be sold and the loan plus interest repaid. Any remaining monies from the sale are paid to your beneficiaries in accordance with your will.

Read more: How does equity release work?

Which conditions qualify for an enhanced lifetime mortgage?

A number of qualifying conditions could entitle you to an enhanced lifetime mortgage. In the case of joint plans, lenders will determine eligibility on the health and lifestyle of the youngest borrower.

Many of the qualifying factors are common to over-55s, including these examples:

During your free* initial appointment with our selected equity release advisers, you and your partner (if a joint application) will be asked a few simple questions about your medical history and lifestyle. The answers you provide will allow your adviser to find out if you qualify for an enhanced equity release plan. They will then search plans from leading UK providers to find the best quotes and deals for your personal circumstances.

Find out how much tax-free cash you could unlock from your home – check here or talk to one of our friendly consultants by calling 0808 178 3055 or request a call back.

How much more can I borrow on an enhanced lifetime mortgage?

How much more you could release is based on your individual circumstances. Enhanced lifetime mortgage quotes consider the number and severity of your medical conditions, as well as your lifestyle factors such as smoking.

The amount you can release depends on several other factors. These include the location and value of your property, and how much equity you have in it. Your age will also be important, or the age of the youngest homeowner in a joint plan. The older you are, the more you can borrow, with levels typically ranging from 25% to 60% of the property’s value. Lenders will also have a minimum loan amount, typically starting from £10,000.

As your maximum cash release amount is personalised to your health and lifestyle, speaking to one of our carefully selected advisers will help to ensure you get the best deal possible as they will search for the most suitable plans from the UK’s leading equity release providers. To find out how much you could borrow, check here or talk to one of our friendly consultants by calling 0808 178 3055 or request a call back.

Read more: How much equity can I release?

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Am I eligible for an enhanced equity release plan?

In addition to having a qualifying medical condition or lifestyle factor, there are other things your equity release adviser will check to see if you are eligible for a plan. Lending criteria will be different for each lender, but here are some examples of typical criteria as a guide:

  • You will need to be aged 55 or over and a UK resident.
  • When a couple applies for an enhanced lifetime mortgage, the youngest applicant on the deeds of the property must be 55 or above.
  • You must own your own home in the UK, and it should typically have a value of £70,000 or more.

Read more: Am I eligible for equity release?

Check your eligibility

Call us on 0808 178 3055 and we’ll arrange a free, no-obligation appointment and lifetime mortgage advice* from a specialist who will confirm whether you are eligible. If you’re unable to talk now, request a call back and we’ll call when it’s convenient to you.

Check my eligibility
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Already have a lifetime mortgage?
You could switch for a better deal

Now could be a good time to switch to a different lifetime mortgage. You may be able to release more tax-free cash due to being older than when you took out your existing plan. An increase in your property’s value or being in poorer health could also qualify you for further cash. Interest rate changes may also save thousands over the lifetime of your plan.

Why not arrange a free review* to find out if switching works for you?

Learn more

Which companies have enhanced lifetime mortgage products?

An enhanced lifetime mortgage is a specialised form of lending, and not every lender offers it. Even so, there are a number of providers to choose from, with some offering enhanced plans.

Equity Release Wise can arrange a search across plans from leading UK providers to help you find the right plan and deal for your circumstances. All of the providers the search will cover are of course authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and are members of the Equity Release Council.

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Apply for your no-obligation equity release quote

Find out if you qualify for equity release and how much you could borrow. Just click ‘Get started’ or call us on 0808 178 3055 and one of our team will be delighted to help arrange a free consultation and quote*.

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Answering your questions

Still unsure of a few things? We’ve got you covered with answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

  • Is there a difference between a lifetime mortgage and equity release?

      There are two main types of equity release, and a lifetime mortgage is one of them. This is where you take out a loan secured against your property, keep ownership of it and still have the right to live there. It’s far and away the most popular form of equity release. The second type is known as home reversion, where you sell your property or a percentage of it. Here too, you still have the right to live there, but this will be as a rent-free tenant rather than as owner of the property.

  • What costs are involved with an enhanced lifetime mortgage?

      Just as with a normal residential mortgage, you should be aware of costs involved in setting up an equity release lifetime mortgage. Your adviser will make sure you understand these in full before you decide whether to take out a plan, but below is a summary.

      Your lender will typically charge valuation, arrangement and completion fees, with further fees payable to the solicitor who acts for you. Some of these fees can be paid from the money you borrow, so you may not have to worry about finding them from your existing savings.

      Our selected advisers naturally charge an advice fee – but remember that any initial advice or information you receive from them is completely free and without obligation. You only pay them a fee if you apply AND your case completes.

      Once a plan is taken out, there aren’t normally any fees. One exception is an early repayment charge that some lenders request if some or all of your lifetime mortgage is paid off before you pass away or move into long-term care.

  • What are average enhanced lifetime mortgage interest rates?

      Even though interest rates on loans and regular mortgages may be rising, the opposite has been true for equity release rates recently. This is Money reported that plans ‘can now be found with rates as low as 3% in some cases’ – significantly lower than has previously been possible.

      Please be aware however that an interest rate is calculated for each withdrawal from a lifetime mortgage. So if rates rise, your interest rates on future withdrawals could rise too.

  • Are enhanced lifetime mortgages available in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England?

      Yes, enhanced lifetime mortgages and other forms of equity release are available across every country in the UK. When you contact Equity Release Wise, we will connect you with our carefully selected advisers who can help you find the best plan for your circumstances.

  • What are the potential risks of an enhanced lifetime mortgage?

      A lifetime mortgage has worked for thousands of over 55s in need of tax-free cash. But it’s important to understand enhanced lifetime mortgage pros and cons before deciding if it’s right for you, so here are some potential risks you need to aware of:

      • Interest is rolled up and added to the amount you owe each month. The amount owed therefore increases and reduces any equity left in your home when the plan ends. Some plans allow you to offset this by making monthly interest payments.
      • Although there are plans that allow you to ring-fence a percentage of your home’s value for your loved ones in the future, the inheritance you leave to loved ones will still be reduced by equity release.
      • If you give some of the money you release to family as a gift, they may be liable to pay inheritance tax in the future. Our carefully selected advisers will explain this to you during your free initial appointment.
      • Equity release is usually a lifetime commitment, so you may incur early repayment fees if you choose to pay back all or some of the loan early.
      • Borrowing money and building up your savings through a lifetime mortgage may affect your entitlement to some means-tested state benefits. During your appointment with one of our selected equity release advisers, they will help you establish whether your benefits could be affected.

Other types of equity release

Other forms of equity release may be more suitable for you than an enhanced lifetime mortgage. Read about these below, or talk about your options to one of our selected advisers so that you can find the best solution for you:

Product lump sum icon

Lump sum lifetime mortgage

Access a tax-free cash lump sum if you’re a homeowner aged 55 or over. You retain full ownership and can stay at home until you pass away or move into long-term care.

Read more about lump sum lifetime mortgage plans
Product drawdown icon

Drawdown lifetime mortgage

Instead of making a one-off cash withdrawal, you take an initial cash sum and additional funds as and when you need them. This helps to reduce the total interest you pay.

Learn more about drawdown lifetime mortgage plans
Product interest only icon

Interest-only lifetime mortgage

A more cost-effective method of equity release where you make voluntary interest payments to reduce or prevent compound interest building up.

Discover more about interest-only lifetime mortgage plans
Product second home icon

Second home lifetime mortgage

If you have a second home you may be able to secure a lifetime mortgage against it, or make your dream of a second home come true with a release from your main residence.

Read more about second home lifetime mortgage plans
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Buy-to-let lifetime mortgage

These specialist plans could enable you to release equity from a buy-to-let property, or to use the wealth in your home to help you make a buy-to-let investment.

Read more about buy-to-let lifetime mortgage plans
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Home reversion

A type of equity release where you sell all or part of your property at less than market value in return for a lump sum, a regular income, or both. You stay in your home rent-free.

Learn more about home reversion

Still have questions?

We hope this information has been useful. To find out more or arrange a consultation with an adviser, please call or request a call back and we’ll be happy to help further.

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+ Client testimonials refer to the service provided by our selected equity release advisers. We have changed the clients’ names and certain identifying information to protect their privacy.

Please note that equity release will involve a home reversion or a lifetime mortgage, which is secured against your property and will reduce the value of your estate and impact funding long-term care. To fully understand the features and risks, ask for a personalised illustration. Equity release requires paying off any existing mortgage. Any money released, plus accrued interest would be repaid upon death, or moving into long term care.